Minnesota archbishop reflects on the significance of a pastoral heart
FREE Catholic Classes
Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St Paul and Minneapolis reflected in a recent interview on several major milestones: his 60th birthday, 30 years as a priest, and 10 years as a bishop.
Minneapolis, Minn., (CNA) - In an interview with the Catholic Spirit, the archbishop emphasized the importance of a pastoral heart in the priestly vocation.
"Being a pastor of a diocese is a little bit like being a pastor of a parish. It's the same desires that you have for being able to make Christ known, being able to serve people, being able to bring the presence of Christ not only through the sacraments but also through God's word," he said.
The archbishop celebrated Mass on July 1 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in honor of the 30th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Hebda will also commemorate his 60th birthday on September 3, and 10 years of being a bishop on December 1.
Born in Pittsburgh, Hebda entered Saint Paul Seminary after he graduated from Harvard and received his JD from Columbia Law School. He was ordained in 1989 and, seven years later, he began his role at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, where he served until he was appointed bishop in 2009.
He said it was initially tough to leave behind a college ministry, where he had been placed as Director of the Newman Center at Slippery Rock University two years prior to his assignment in Rome. However, he said a priest must have a pastoral heart no matter the assignment.
"A priest has to bring a pastoral heart to whatever task is before him. Even if it's an administrative position, he has to bring to that a pastoral heart," he said.
"I came to recognize, though, that it was in the work that I was doing (at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, responsible for interpreting Church law), even though it was very technical, legal work, that I was being given an opportunity to really participate in Christ's priesthood."
In any vocation, he said, the most important thing is to place God above all else. He said this fosters acts of service for others.
"I think [God] wants us to put him first in our lives. We love God and we love our neighbor. It's a way in which we're also going to have our hearts expanded so that we can serve others, too," he said.
The archbishop has led Minnesota's largest archdiocese through a turbulent period. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2015 amid many abuse claims that had been made possible under Minnesota legislation that opened a temporary window for older claims to be heard in civil court.
Hebda announced in May of last year a $210 million settlement package for victims of sexual abuse.
He is also leading the archdiocese toward a 2021 synod to address pastoral concerns and discern the call of the Holy Spirit.
In preparation for the synod, the archdiocese will have 20 prayer events and spiritual talks. The first one will kick off on September 24. Hebda expressed hope that the process will lead the archdiocese to a richer connection to the Holy Spirit.
"My hope is that we might, together, be able to detect the presence of the Holy Spirit. That we would find reassurance in that. We would be reinvigorated by that realization, as well," he said.
"I also am trusting that the process will help us to identify priorities for moving forward in a way that's reflective not only of my own thinking but also the thinking of the faithful of the archdiocese, whether it be our priests, whether it be our lay faithful, whether it be men and women in consecrated life, it will all have a chance to shape the next steps we take as an archdiocese."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
It was a pleasant November morning in downtown Denver when volunteers with the Knights of Columbus set up tents for distributing new puffy ... continue reading
A new report by a leading legal group claims that, despite deep division and polarization in the U.S., there is still a national consensus ... continue reading
The Salvation Army has denied accusations that it is an anti-LGBT organization in the wake of the Chick-Fil-A Foundation publicly severing ... continue reading
Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo has released a video statement following his recent ad limina visit to Rome with the bishops of New York. ... continue reading
For Aristotle, the definition of perfect friendship was so narrow that precious few could achieve it. South Bend, Ind., (CNA) - For ... continue reading
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.